Mike Lauffer, Bill Cubbedge and Phillips Racing Partnership’s Shackleford breezed a half-mile on the fast main track at Churchill Downs on Saturday in :47.40 in his first workout since finishing seventh in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (GI).
A multiple Grade I winner of more than $2.8 million, Shackleford is under consideration for Friday’s $400,000-added Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (GI) at Churchill Downs and the $350,000 Cigar Mile (GI) at Aqueduct on Nov. 24.
“We haven’t decided yet,” trainer Dale Romans said. “There are a lot of factors to consider. We’ll make a decision by Monday morning because there’s a plane to New York on Tuesday.”
Working on his own shortly after the track reopened following the renovation break at 8:30 a.m. (all times Eastern), Shackleford recorded opening fractions of :11.60 and :23 and galloped out five furlongs in 1:00.40 under Tammy Fox. His four-furlong time of :47.40 was the second fastest of 57 at the distance.
“He worked really well like he always does and then cooled out fine,” Romans said.
Co-owners Lauffer and Cubbedge were on hand with their families to see the workout.
“We’ll see how he comes out of the work and we also want to look at the weather,” Lauffer said. “We want to run on a nice, fast racetrack. He loves it here (at Churchill Downs) and always runs well here, but he likes it at Aqueduct, too.”
Entries for the Clark will be taken Tuesday and entries for the Cigar Mile will be taken Wednesday.
Also working toward the Clark on Saturday were Bourbon Lane Stable and Wayne Lynn’s Bourbon Courage and Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider’s Cease.
Bourbon Courage, winner of the Super Derby (GII), breezed four furlongs in :48 and galloped out five-eighths in 1:01.60.
“I told (jockey) Leandro (Goncalves) to go between :48 and :48.40,” trainer Kellyn Gorder said. “It was a really nice breeze. (The Clark) has been our big target. It’s kind of like our Breeders’ Cup.”
Cease, runner-up to Pool Play in the Hawthorne Gold Cup (GII), breezed a half-mile in :50 after going the opening-quarter in :25 for trainer Al Stall Jr.
GROUPIE DOLL WORKS FOR POSSIBLE CIGAR MILE BID – Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (GI) winner Groupie Doll breezed a half-mile in :48.20 at Churchill Downs on Saturday morning in preparation for a possible start against the boys in the $350,000 Cigar Mile at Aqueduct on Nov. 24.
Working on her own following the track’s renovation break, Groupie Doll, who races for Buff Bradley, Fred Bradley, Carl Hurst and Brent Burns, went the first quarter-mile in :24.60, finished in :23.60 and galloped out five furlongs in 1:01.40 under jockey John McKee.
“We’ll see how she comes back and then probably make a decision tomorrow (Sunday),” trainer Buff Bradley said. “I’m sure the weights will be fair, so I’m thinking that mostly we got this work into her to see that she still wants to do it. I want to wait and see what tomorrow brings. I want to see her tomorrow and see how she comes back.”
About an hour after her workout, Bradley was happy with the way his three-time Grade I winner was cooling out.
“She’s doing great. She’s not even blowing,” Bradley said. “She’s retained her fitness level and she’s happy.”
Weights for the Cigar Mile will be announced Sunday with entries taken Wednesday.
McPEEK WORKS FRAC DADDY AND JAVA’S WAR FOR KENTUCKY JOCKEY CLUB – Magic City Thoroughbred Partners’ Frac Daddy and Charles Fipke’s Java’s War both recorded workouts at Churchill Downs for trainer Ken McPeek on Saturday in preparation for next Saturday’s $150,000-added Kentucky Jockey Club (GII).
Frac Daddy, who broke his maiden at Churchill Downs by 9 ¾ lengths on Nov. 3, breezed five furlongs in 1:00.20, the fastest of 51 at the distance, while working in company with Taken by the Storm, who was credited with a five-furlong time of 1:01.20.
Following the work, McPeek confirmed Frac Daddy would make his next start in the Kentucky Jockey Club. He also was being considered for the Remsen (GII) at Aqueduct.
“(Frac Daddy) did incredible. He did it easy. He’s a very talented horse,” McPeek said.
Java’s War, winner of the Sunday Silence at Louisiana Downs and most recently third behind Joha in the Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity (GI) at Keeneland, breezed five furlongs in 1:01.40 while working in company with another McPeek trainee.
“He’s been doing great (since the Breeders’ Futurity),” McPeek said. “He’s been training super.”
DOWN THE STRETCH – Congratulations to jockey Marcelino Pedroza Jr. and his wife Rocio on the birth of their first child, Rosie Michelle Pedroza, who was born Thursday … Jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. is in town to ride Charged Cotton in the Mrs. Revere (GII) on Saturday night, but trainer Ron Moquett said the 20-year-old journeyman will stay in Louisville till the end of the Fall Meet to ride for him and a few other trainers taking strings to Oaklawn Park, where Santana will ride following a trip to his native Panama. Santana began riding in the United States in 2009 and recently claimed the riding title at Delaware Park … Take Charge Indy is scheduled to breeze Sunday at Churchill Downs following the renovation break at approximately 8:30 a.m. in preparation for Friday’s $400,000-added Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (GI) … Also working toward the Clark on Sunday will be Ack Ack Handicap (GIII) winner Neck ’n Neck, who is scheduled to breeze prior to the renovation break.
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